Of all the decisions that business leaders make, the choice to embrace continuous improvement is probably the easiest. After all, who doesn’t want their employees to be engaged in daily positive change?
Choosing the right technology to support improvement is likely a more difficult task. There aren’t very many people who are experts at selecting, purchasing, and implementing new quality improvement software platforms.
This checklist will help. If you select quality improvement software that contains each of these features, you’ll set your team up for great and lasting success.
Quality improvement efforts shouldn't be isolated from other efforts. Improvements should be tied to the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. The best quality improvement software platforms allow the strategy to cascade throughout the organization so everyone understands how their work relates to the larger goals.
Impact, Activity & Engagement Reports
One of the essential responsibilities of quality improvement leaders is understanding the health of improvement throughout the organization. Improvement software should give instant, visualized insight into the people and teams that are engaged in improvement and calculate the impact of those efforts.
The needs of individuals change based on their function and role. Executive leaders and front-line employees have different information needs and permissions. That’s why you should look for software that tailors the experience to the needs of each user.
Project Workflow with Active Notifications
Notifications sent through email help keep people engaged and on track with their quality improvement projects. These alerts let managers know when tasks are completed, or deadlines are missed and ensure that action is taken to sustain forward momentum.
Improvement Opportunity Submission Through Email
While it is a best practice to encourage employees to log into your quality improvement software as often as possible, sometimes it makes more sense for someone to simply submit an opportunity for improvement via email. This capability helps ensure that no opportunities will be forgotten or ignored.
Configurable Improvements and Projects
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to improvement projects. Different organizations approach improvement work in unique ways, and the road to improvement can vary from project to project. Choose a solution that is flexible enough to meet every need and one that can be tailored to your preferred setup.
Certification and Training Tracking
It is typical for organizations that practice continuous quality improvement to have a structured approach to employee training and development. Make sure that your quality software allows you to track the classes and certifications of each individual.
Data Encryption / SSL
Data security should be a central concern whenever you implement software of any kind. It is particularly important for quality improvement software because it will almost certainly contain sensitive data that you want to protect. Insist on a solution that uses secure web pages with data encryption.
Support for Cross-functional Team Collaboration
Many of the quality improvement projects that have the most significant impact involve cross-functional collaboration. That’s because process breakdowns often happen when work is transitioned from one team or function to another. Choose quality improvement management software that supports collaboration across functions and unifies the organization on one common platform.
Quality improvement work is not confined to the desktop, and your improvement software shouldn’t be either. Modern solutions offer Android and iOS apps and will work seamlessly on tablets or phones.
Advanced Search Capabilities
The ability to search the knowledge repository for past projects may seem like a small thing. Still, it is essential to making sure that the information is used effectively to build on past successes or avoid mistakes.
Improvement culture thrives when leaders share and celebrate the team’s achievements. Success broadcasting is a feature you’ll want to be sure is included in any solution you consider.
Software capabilities are essential, but so is the vendor’s ability to help you achieve success. Make sure that you pick a partner with expert support services available. If you have access to a dedicated account manager, that’s even better.
Online Documentation and Video Learning
Most people prefer a self-service approach when learning new software, so opt for a solution with an intuitive knowledge center complete with video training. This will help you can bring new team members up to speed quickly.
Before you commit to a quality improvement system, ask yourself these three questions. Does it have the capabilities my team needs to manage and speed improvement? Will people use it? Will the vendor be a partner in my success? You’ll know you’ve made the right call if you can say, “Yes, yes, and yes!”